Festival Double Win for Ludlow Food Centre

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Two handmade products from the kitchens of the Ludlow Food Centre have scooped top prizes at their second successful Ludlow Food Festival since opening in spring 2007.

Their light and traditional Victoria Sponge, perfected by in-house baker Brenda Gray, won first place in the sponge cake category and in the fiercely contested ‘Local to Ludlow’ competition the Food Centre emerged winners for Best Shropshire Fidget Pie, which is made daily by kitchen manager Shirley Jones and her team entirely with self-produced or locally sourced ingredients.

For the Gray family the bakery award is particularly sweet as last year daughter Anna walked away from the Festival with two first prizes for her Malted Wheat loaf. The mother and daughter team, supported by Katie Burns and Catherine Beaumont, bake seven days a week in the Bromfield store and such is the popularity of their teatime treats, they have trebled output of their top-selling Victoria Sponge to 60 cakes a week.

The Food Centre’s Fidget Pie is another best seller: a traditional pastry case filled with Gloucester Old Spot bacon, reared on the Estate’s own farm, local dry cider, their own blend mustard and topped with a golden mashed potato crust, made from freshly dug Shropshire potatoes.

A delighted Sandy Boyd, Managing Director of the Food Centre, said, ‘We had a very enjoyable few days at the Festival and I’m especially pleased we were recognised for our total commitment to using and selling produce local to the town. We had a great turn-out for our lamb cutting demonstration with people returning from last year’s event to pre-order their quarter or half lamb packs. In these hard times people are seeing the value of buying meat this way and sales were excellent. We also had an amazing response to our cheese range, following Dudley Martin’s appearance on the Olive Demonstration Stage. We officially launched our new Oakly Park Cheddar at the 2008 Festival and visitors got a special preview of a Shropshire blue cheese that Dudley is working on, which received high praise from all who tried it.’

The Ludlow Food Centre will be featured in the new ITV travel series ‘Somewhere for the Weekend’, due to be aired Tuesday nights from mid-October.

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